Science Says This Much Halloween Candy Could Kill You

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Americans' Favorite Halloween Candy By State

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Americans' Favorite Halloween Candy By State

Parents who warn their kids about eating too much candy after trick-or-treating this Halloween now have science to back up their claims.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has produced a video showing exactly how much candy it will take to not just make you sick, but possibly kill you.

If candy corn is your favorite Halloween treat, you will be wise to stop well short of the 1,627 pieces the ACS’s calculations say will be fatal when eaten in one sitting by a 180-pound person.

Love those bite-size chocolate treats of your favorite candy bar? The ACS found that eating 262 pieces of fun-size candy bars in one sitting could also prove deadly.

“Adding all of the sugar to your body is going to change the balance of water in your cells,” Matt Hartings, professor of chemistry at American University, told ABC News. “When you have so much sugar floating around in your body … you’ll likely to start leeching water from all your cells.”

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Hartings, author of the forthcoming “Chemistry in Your Kitchen,” is an ACS expert in the area of food chemistry and materials science. The Washington, D.C.-based organization used a measurement called LD 50 to determine what it termed “hypothetical death by gluttony.”

LD 50 is defined as the quantity of a chemical that could kill half of an animal test population, like rats, according to the ACS. The quantity is dependent upon the size of each animal. For humans, one would need to eat around 5.4 pounds of sugar to hit the LD 50 level, the ACS found (based on a person’s average weight of 180 pounds).

“The danger is eating it all at once,” said Hartings, explaining that this formula calculates acute toxicity. “Long-term toxicity would be if you eat five candy bars every day for many years, you may develop Type 2 diabetes.”

Curious what candy would do to your own body? Plug your weight into this formula provided by the ACS to determine how many fun-size candy bars and candy corn pieces would be toxic for you.



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